True Bias Lander Pants – muslin

lander cartoon Indulge me…’Lander’ brings so many images to mind, and I love this cartoon.

I think the new Lander Pants and Shorts from True Bias are super cute. They have a great utilitarian street-style vibe: a high waist, an exposed button front, and fun pockets.

line art

I’ve been working on the pattern – printing, taping, drafting my tissue – for about a week. Yesterday I cut out a muslin, about knee length, and finally, ‘duh’ moment, realized that the fly construction would not work for me. I had to re-draft the front. I’ll try to explain why (the next 3 pics are from the instruction set, with my notations).

The fly has an attached extension on the left side (the wearer’s left) that is turned to the inside to form the buttonhole placket. There’s really not anything wrong with this, except that it leaves interfacing and 4 layers of twill/denim/some bottom-weight fabric in the outside edge of the placket. Which could end up being rather stiff. Maybe not, but worth some consideration.

left fly

The fly shield is attached to the right side of the pants and extends under the buttonhole placket. Here’s the issue for me: the fly shield is sewn right on the CF seam.

right fly

And that means that, when the pants are worn, the buttonhole placket will tend to pull away and show the fly shield seam.


If you’ve sewn a zippered fly, perhaps you’ll recall that, under the fly or overlap, the zipper is sewn off-center, to avoid peek-a-boo zipper teeth. The same thinking applies here.

So, I used a different approach, one that’s used all the time. I cut both sides of the front with an integrated fly extension.


The left extension was turned to the inside, forming the buttonhole placket. And the right extension was trimmed, leaving about a 3/4″ seam allowance. I used the usual 1/2″ seam allowance to attach the fly shield, which shifted the seam itself about 1/4″ away from the center front and under the buttonhole placket. No peek-a-boo.


My muslin, where is it? Well, I did sew it together, and the fit was pretty good from the front. But, the back was Baggy Bum City. I realized that the basic pant is pretty much the same as my Merchant & Mills Strides, and I’ve already done all the fitting and adjustments for those (here)! The back was so much work – I’ll just use the Strides as the starting point for my Lander pants 🙂

The last post ever about my Strides trousers!
Merchant & Mills Strides

A couple more notes:

  • I sewed the size 10, based on my measurements.
  • And I added 1 1/2″ to the top of the front and back, all the way around, to get them up to my natural waistline (these are supposed to be high-waisted pants, but the crotch length on the size 10 is just over 24″, pretty short IMO).
  • And I adjusted the back dart, the fly shield, and the front pocket for the added height.

Bottom line, well, it was fun. I know a lot more reviews will get posted in the coming weeks, and I’m looking forward to seeing how other sewers are doing with the pattern.

Ciao! Coco

Irma, my final chapter

my street
My street…

Gosh, you guys are so nice 🙂 I’ve appreciated every comment during this Irma event.

And this is my last post on the subject! Just to share a  few little stories.

By the way, I know that my impacts are minimal, and my family is fine. We’re really fortunate.

My short list of woes – my car was hit in the grocery parking lot the day before the storm. And during the storm, I developed three leaks. One in the garage – the missing popcorn from the ceiling fell on my car of course. I’m just thankful the ceiling didn’t fall on my car! I also have 2 leaks in my master bath room. And these two are kind of funny. One was over the toilet and just dripped into the toilet bowl. And the other was over the tub! How’s that for thoughtful drips…


My yard buddies (I don’t include ants and mosquitoes in this. The wind blew the ants out of the trees, so they’ll have to resettle. And it blew in loads of nasty little salt marsh mosquitoes from the Everglades. Yuck).

Mr. Lizard watching the storm from inside the screen  porch.
ms squirrel
I think Ms. Squirrel is homeless. She has been spending a lot of time on my fence, resting.

What to do when the power is out? cut and tape 🙂

True Bias Lander Pants and Shorts

My thoughts are with everyone dealing with the aftermath of Irma, Harvey, and the pervasive wild fires out West.

Bye for now – Coco

After the storm…

cathy paul
Artist: Cathy Paul

I’m fine. And I’m very grateful for all your support, prayers, and thoughts.

I actually got power a day ago, and internet about 12 hours after. The forced abeyance of any kind of human contact or media feedback had an impact on me. As I live alone, I am, admittedly, still a little shaken.

In the interim, I’ve been reading – I’m revisiting ‘Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest‘, by Wade Davis. It is a moving chronicle of WWI and subsequent exploration of Mount Everest. But it’s stunning – a detailed and thoughtful journey of the devastation of the the first world war in Europe, with resonant and provoking consideration of people, leaders, and aspirations of recovery subsequent to the war. I don’t usually recommend books, but this is an exception. WWI seems so long ago, but the circumstance of humanity and suffering as explored in this work, is, IMO, without comparison. This book is at the same time enlightening, numbing, and humbling. This is my second reading and probably not my last.

I’m grateful to be post-storm. I’ve taken long walks in my neighborhood, and I ventured out in my car for about 2 blocks this morning (the roads are really dangerous right now, only one lane open, some very narrow from fallen trees). For perspective – I was on the right quadrant of the storm and had Cat 1 or greater winds for 32 hours! Nothing as dramatic as the waves rushing on shore, but so invasive and mind-bending, nonetheless. Difficult. My children, in Ft. Myers and Orlando, do not have power as I write.

Sewing! Yesterday and today,  I worked on the ugliest PJ set ever, not to be viewed here. Well, OK, one shot. I look so tired. But’s that’s how I feel as well. I think I’ll dye this entire set (it’s very comfy cotton lawn) set! The print jars my mind a bit.

Enter a caption
Here’s a quirky disappointment! The Postal Service down here is holding, since last Wednesday, my fabric order from Hancocks of Paducah. What 🙂 Such an insult!

So, meantime I’m reading, and I’ll probably recycle and remake all kinds of stuff that no longer fits me!

Bye for now – Coco

You gotta get up, early in the morning…

afrev2 2I woke up at 5:00 a.m. with ‘Early in the Morning’, by The Gap Band, rolling through my head. They’re one of my favorite groups from the 80’s – here’s a link to a YouTube version, if you want to sing along!

First business, thank you all so much for the support, prayers, and thoughts, not just for me, but for everyone facing Hurricane Irma this weekend. What nice friends you are. It’s a special moment – I’ve heard from so many of you who live in Florida, have family and/or friends in Florida, have weathered similar challenges, or simply care enough to drop a line. Again, thank you.

Sewing! it has been a wonderful diversion. I decided to fall back on familiar and comfy, and McCalls 6747 Classic Henley Dress is perfect. I’ve sewn it so much that I had to buy a new copy of the pattern this summer (some earlier versions here).


I also had some favorite cotton/lycra knit fabric on hand. I like this fabric/print so much that I’ve ordered it 3 times from Girl Charlee. As I write, it’s still available.


inside garden


I don’t usually have a plant shop in the living room. But I had to move everything off the porch, which gives me a new backdrop for pics.


What’s missing here is the cup of coffee just out of view. I actually put on makeup and combed my hair, but I do look sleepy. Or tired.


There have been moments of levity! Someone asked about one of my notes on my previous post, ‘move the alligator’. Yes, I really do have one, but it’s concrete 🙂


I also had a very indignant toad, who got tossed with the water when I moved the bird toad bath.


The wind is up, and we’re getting a lot of rain. Parts of Miami have already lost power. Wow. Here I am, my sanguine pose 🙂


Thinking of so many things and people – be safe, be well.

Bye for now – Coco

Hurricane Irma – Waiting is the worst part

Waiting really is awful. All week. Making notes on what I need to do, with timelines. I do have some time…


Note that note for cold brew coffee! I cannot do this without caffeine…

This is not the first time I’ve weathered a big hurricane in this house, which I bought in 1999. Hurricance Wilma came through here in 2005, as a Category 4. Of course I had roof and water damage. But it’s been a while, so I really did put effort into prepping for Irma. I’m almost 70 now, and my age and so on make a big difference in what I can do, both ahead of time and after.

A pic of my back garden, cleared of debris, a few weeks after Hurricane Wilma. Scoured and almost all gone.

garden after
The broken trees were easily 50′ high before the storm.

Those trunks and limbs from the broken mahogany trees were in my garden. Incredible. My neighbor came over with a chain saw and cut the limbs, and the lost palms from my garden, into pieces I could manage and move onto the street (we all had vegetative and hard-goods piled on the streets for weeks, pending pickup by the city. My neighborhood streets were not even passable with a car for 2 weeks because of the debris).


But everything grows in Florida. Those trees came back, and they’re well over 45″ high now, really beautiful.


It would be hard to describe the feelings that come ahead of something like this. The hurricane is going to hit here. Barring something totally unforeseen, it will be a Category 4 for me once again. High winds, but only about 12″ of rain. (I say only 12″ …we had 14″ of rain and tropical storm force winds here in early June. It’s just part of living in the tropics).

The worst part of the rain and wind, given no flooding (  and I’m not in a flood zone), is that, under pressure, the rain sprays in around the windows, and it fills in the bottom track of windows and spills over inside, across the sill, down the walls. Awful. I have lots of towels ready to try to beat it back…


My check list so far, done:

  • This morning I took pics of every room in my house and a updated my inventory worksheet, with item values, of everything. Copied onto 2 USB drives, in my safe, and here on my laptop. For insurance purposes. I try to keep this up to date anyway, so it didn’t take a lot of time.
  • Laundry – all done. No power means no laundry!
  • Ice – freezing and bagging. I’m not going to buy frozen water, and I don’t have a cooler. My ice maker is hard at work. And I’ll put my fridge and freezer on their coldest settings on Saturday, ahead of landfall.
  • Meds – checked, have plenty.
  • Electronics – I have 3 battery-powered radios on various devices. They and my cameras (for post-storm pics), my PC and tablets, are all charged. I might not have power, but I can listen to the news and play Solitaire!
  • Batteries – plenty, I keep my supply current all year round.
  • Flashlights – yes, plus several lanterns. I didn’t buy them for this storm, I always have them! I don’t usually use candles, but I do have them.
  • Phone…OK, I use an ‘old’ flip phone. When my charge is gone, it’s gone. 🙂 I’ll just ignore  anyone other than my kids…

——————————————————Tuesday 9/5/2017——————————————-

OMG, the grocery and gas station were amazing! I decided on Monday to take care of this kind of business, and even then I was in line for gas for 45 minutes and had to buy hi-test. Everything else was sold out. So funny, weird really, part of what made it take so long was that people kept hitting the buttons for the 2 lower grades of gasoline. Even though there were placards on them saying that the other grades were not available.

I also watched 2 people blatantly and aggressively cut into the line of cars. Well, we’re peaceful here in Weston, I’m not sure that move would have worked in other places.

I got my gas, groceries and cash from my bank. Went home. And found that someone had crunched the left back fender of my car. Monday was not, after all, a good day.

—————————————————————-Thursday 9/7/2017—————————————

More recent, I went to the grocery this morning, just antsy and needing a social fix. How interesting. The market had posted that it would have bottled water at 6 a.m. this morning, and people STOOD IN LINE SINCE 6 LAST NIGHT TO GET IT. The truck didn’t arrive until noon, while I was there, and the line for bottled water wound all over the grocery, with police and employees standing watch. The store said they had 4 pallets of water, and they limited each person to 2 flats.

OK – water comes out of the tap. I don’t understand bottled water. And I don’t use it.

Friday update: I should amend that – I’ve been in places on the coast of Florida and California in which the sulphur content in the water made it really unpalatable. I’d be hugging bottled water there 🙂

But the vibe in the grocery was interesting. I also passed a line, over 2 blocks long, for the gas station. Wow.

Thoughts: It’s not like we didn’t know this storm is approaching. We’ve known for at least 10 days. Anyone standing on line for food, water, and gas – well, hello.

——————————————————-last thoughts————————————————–

OK, all my efforts to be joe coolcalm and prepared probably will not protect me from some impact from Hurricane Irma. Hurricane Wilma left me with huge property, mobility, and personal comfort issues that were not resolved easily or quickly.

As I did with Wilma, I’ll shelter on the landing of my stairs. It’s interior to my house and pretty much the best I can do. I’ll make a nest!

Comfort item, I bought a bag of potato chips today, intended for the storm and what an indulgence. But –  I’m eating the chips as I write. So much for being cool, calm, and collected…

Best, Coco

p.s. Wilma was nothing compared to Hurricane Andrew, which tossed a live oak into the back of my house (I had to move soon as I found somewhere to go), cut power for 5 – 10 weeks, and left all of south Florida in various kinds and degrees of misery for two years.

I also lost a good friend  – her car was hit broadside in an intersection in south Miami that had no working traffic lights.

p.s.s. As long as I have power…I’m sewing!